Serial Lesson 188
From Course XVIII, Imponderable Forces, Chapter 6
Original Copyright 1945, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2012, The Church of Light
Subheadings: History Is Mostly Lies The Slant of the Press The Radio Billboards Inversion Additional Technique of Inversion Platitudes Insinuations Repetition Thought Dissemination
Birth Charts: Philippe Petain Chart Pierre Laval Chart
Press, Radio and Billboard
ONE can hardly consider any treatment of the imponderable forces affecting human life as at all adequate which omits the various agencies of propaganda. Commonly these agencies commence their work soon after we arise in the morning; at least as soon as we turn on the radio or glance at the morning paper.
As we drive to the office, or go to whatever work awaits us, their impact strikes us from sign boards along the way, or from car signs placed conspicuously in the public vehicles within which we must ride. Salesmen make their appearance during the day, the magazine we read during the noon hour adds its weight, and in the evening, as we relax a few moments before retiring, we turn on the radio again, and receive a final bombardment.
From almost the moment of awakening until we go to sleep, and even after we go to sleep if some member of the household keeps the radio on, we are under a constant but subtle pressure to compel us to do something that someone else desires us to do.
Now there can be no objection to our obliging other people and complying with their requests, provided such compliance is mutually beneficial, or not derogatory to the welfare of society. Perhaps the greatest single economic problem of today is that of distributing the products of industry. A high standard of living among the people can be reached only through informing a wide public of the advantages that may be derived from the purchase of new conveniences and improved articles. And it requires education and salesmanship to break down prejudices that favor the old and tried things. Advertising thus, when received with discrimination, is of utmost value not merely to the producer but to the consumer.
But along with their benefits, not only advertising channels that are recognized as such, but all avenues of education, are all too commonly used to warp and distort the judgment of men, to the end that they shall act through the compelling force of subtle, infiltrating suggestions, or through misinformation, to their own detriment and the grossly selfish benefit of those who make it a business of exploiting others.
History Is Mostly Lies
The histories that children study in school invariably inculcate in them the belief that the conflicts of their country in the past were always forced upon them by the outrages of some other nation. Children are led to believe that their patriots, their generals, their great men, are superior to those of other nations. Their country has always been right in its controversies. Their soldiers have always been noble and brave. Opposing countries have always been base and vile.
Thus the histories of two countries about the same war, or the same crises, in which they were antagonists, are always varnished in such a way as to convince the child that his nation is vastly superior and that the other nation is filled with detestable people. Napoleon, who made considerable history of sorts, and therefore was entitled to his opinion, decided that history is mostly lies. That is, like so much else we read, see, and hear, its chief concern is to convince us, regardless of the actual facts, that someone was right and someone else was wrong.
Then we find, if senate investigating committees are to be believed, when the child has graduated from high school and gone to college, that he comes under the influence of learned men, some of whom are granted salaries, much larger than they receive from college, paid to them by large corporations. These additional salaries are allegedly to enable them to do research or other special work; but in reality carry the implication that the instructor is to give a slant to his discourses that will be favorable to the political and other aspirations of the corporation.
Of course, the majority of college professors would scorn to take gifts or emoluments from such corporations. But there are enough of them willing to do so that it is not hard for such interests to place very capable speakers under their pay at such strategic points in our institutions of education, and on lecture tours, as to make their influence widespread.
And even the instructors who would not take pay ostensibly offered to further educational work vet with the implication that some corporation be favored, not infrequently have strong and unreasonable prejudices in regard to religion, prohibition, politics, and other things which so commonly rest upon the emotional background of the individual rather than upon research and experiment.
I have singled out history as a single example in the schools, and corporation propaganda as a single example in the colleges, and no doubt these are the most obvious examples; yet numerous others might be cited, all going to show that from the time a child enters an educational institution until he leaves college he is more or less under the influence of those who are not impartial in their views. Propaganda of some kind is constantly at work seeking to sway his thinking into biased channels.
The Slant of the Press
Now I suppose no one needs to be told that such a thing as an impartial press is practically nonexistent at this day. Many of the newspapers and magazines which carry other than fiction, are owned by syndicates who have purchased them with the view of influencing public opinion in a definite direction. Many other periodicals not actually owned by such syndicates are subsidized by them. And nearly all the others at least have some definite political view which they are determined, at all costs, to sell to the public. And even the most widely read stories are written chiefly with a view to proving or disproving something; and not infrequently their authors are assigned by the publisher to write a story of so many words showing something to be true, the editor indicating the “slant” he desires.
Banks, railroads, political bodies—Anti-Saloon League, Anti-Prohibition League, World Court Advocates, Anti-League of Nations Group, and every other powerful group with an axe to grind—have their press agents whose work it is to manipulate the public through their utterances in the press. It is estimated that New York City alone contains no less than twelve hundred such press agents, all working to sell the public some particular brand of thought.
An illuminating way in which to learn how prevalent and strong are the influences of propaganda is to read the reports on the same important events in newspapers and other periodicals that “slant” their news from different angles. Let us take, for example, an account of some foreign disturbance, or even a local disturbance, as reported in the Los Angeles Examiner (Democratic), the Los Angeles Times (Republican), and the American Freeman (Socialistic).
If the event is really important, Mr. Hearst’s Examiner will show that in the last analysis the trouble was due to prohibition; and that light wines and beer if easily to be had would make of earth a paradise without hardships. The same difficulty will be shown by the Los Angeles Times to be solely due to trade unions or radical labor elements in their efforts to destroy civilization. And the American Freeman will quite as convincingly prove that the only source of the difficulty was the greed of Capitalists in their effort to exploit the downtrodden wage slaves.
When prohibition is solved, the Los Angeles Examiner will have something else to blame for everything disagreeable but as the Times has always blamed the workingman for every disaster, and the American Freeman can see no evil except it is inspired by those of wealth, we may confidently expect them to retain their special “slant” as long as they have existence.
What has been pointed out in connection with these three papers is largely true of nearly every news sheet in the land. And not only many of the best stories, but practically all the articles that appear in the magazines are written specifically to support the views that the magazines are endeavoring to sell the public. Today there is almost no such thing as an unbiased source of information.
The radio programs do the same thing that is done by the press, but as a rule they are more frank about it. The press is really trying to influence public opinion, trying to sell people some idea, and uses the news as the avenue to get their attention and confidence. But it does not inform the public that it is giving a biased version, or that in its news items and articles it is selling an idea advantageous to itself. The radio program, however, makes no secret that it is entertaining people, giving them something they desire, in order to get their attention and sell them something. The radio announcer makes his station call at intervals and plainly makes it known what his sponsor wishes the public to buy.
Radio programs are mostly paid for by someone who is trying to sell something. As a rule, about three minutes out of every fifteen are devoted to selling effort, and the balance of the time is given over to holding the public attention through some form of entertainment. It is the work of the radio announcer to word his sales talk so that you will have the utmost confidence in what he says, and will be possessed by an intense desire to buy what he has to sell.
In addition to these paid-for programs, radio stations have what are known as sustaining programs. These are periods of time which the station has been unable to sell to some advertiser. The station procures as attractive entertainment as possible for these sustaining programs, because in order to sell time to advertisers it must hold the attention of its public. A good sustaining program adds to what in newspaper work would be called “circulation.” This attracts to it those who wish to buy time; for time is what the radio station has to sell. But the notable lecturer it hires to hold the attention of the public and make the paid-for time of this station valuable to the advertiser may, and usually does, have some particular “slant” which he is promoting in his broadcasts.
Billboards and posters are unlike the press and educational institutions in that no one is led to believe they are not trying to sell something. They are like the radio, except that they appeal to the eye instead of to the ear, in that although they use many subtle methods to make sales, they are not so completely camouflaged as to their real objective.
Not only is there practically no unbiased source of information available to the public, but, human life being what it is, it is unlikely that such will be forthcoming in the future.
Since men have been upon the earth they have had opinions formed from incomplete data that they have been eager to persuade others to accept. They have had material possessions which they were desirous of trading to others at the best possible profit to themselves. They have wished other people to do certain things; and have ransacked their wits to find some means by which they could induce the action that would, irrespective of its effect upon society, be beneficial to themselves. And it is too much to expect these tendencies to vanish. We may as well accept the situation as it now exists, and as it probably will exist in the future, that there are many men either through ignorance or self seeking, using all available channels of information to influence people to think and act in the way they desire they should.
This being the case, what can we do about it? How can we prevent, through the lies of purported history, through smooth statements of half facts by educators, through the “slant” of fiction and news items, and the subtleties of radio and billboard, forming erroneous conclusions and acting as a consequence in a manner detrimental both to ourselves and to society?
When we become conscious that all these sources of information have something they are enthusiastically trying to sell, we can then make an effort to discern the “slant” they give to information. That is, before accepting information as such we can delve to find the real motive behind the source of its dissemination.
Add to this a clear comprehension of the chief methods by which we are subtly influenced without usually being aware of it, and the common method by which fact is distorted to make it signify something different and yet remain plausible, and we have a means at our command by which we can discriminate effectively between the real truth of any situation and the appearance that is given to that truth by the organ presenting it. Through our knowledge of the methods of those purveying information we will be able, in great measure, to separate the real kernel of truth from its chaffy covering.
There is a form of distorting facts in which a lie is resorted to, plain and simple. Political opponents, on the night before election, sometimes publish a bare-faced lie about their antagonist, and count on it swinging public opinion before it can be proved false. But an unadorned lie usually can be made effective only over a brief period of time; for unless it is very cunningly concealed amid such truth, or given wide repetition, it is too easily proved untrue.
To maintain plausibility, and therefore confidence that it is not a lie, the common method used by those both on the physical plane and in the astral slums, is to use truth—the more obvious the truth the better—and within it to insert a very small and inconspicuous distortion of the truth, which cleverly makes the meaning of the whole just the opposite of its true significance. This method is called inversion; and because it is the almost universal method employed by astral gangsters, they have come to be known in occult circles as the INVERSIVE BRETHREN.
The success in misleading the public, of an inversion, depends chiefly upon three factors:
1. It must present facts that are widely recognized to be true, or which can easily be proved to be true; and if they have a strong emotional appeal, so much the better.
2. The inversive twist—the misinformation or misinterpretation—by which the whole matter is made to appear to have a meaning exactly the opposite of its true purport, must occupy so small a part of the whole presentation, or be so cunningly concealed by sophistical handling, that it escapes the notice of all except those with critical faculties highly developed.
3. The inversive twist—the misinformation or misinterpretation—must be so worded that it can be subjected to no direct and simple test of accuracy. In fact, the more loopholes left by which to sidestep any direct test of its truth the more it fulfills its purpose.
To accomplish this last, for instance, no direct accusations are made against an opponent; for these could be brought to trial. But instead insinuations are published, which if brought to trial could be said to have meant something entirely different, and to have no derogative import. Or, in setting forth some matter, so many alternatives are left, any one of which seemingly supports the inversion, that as fast as one is traced down and proved to be a lie, another can be substituted. Thus the number of such substitute lies becomes so great that the public has not the patience to follow the efforts of anyone who has the diligence to hunt them down, one after another. This is the real hydra-headed monster which grows two heads in the place of each one which is cut off. That is, when one lie is slain, those responsible for it have two others ready at hand to take its place.
As illustrative of the inversive method, the Senate Investigating Committee previously mentioned found that a certain huge corporation was granting large salaries to certain college professors to travel about giving lectures. These lectures were something in the nature of University Extension Work, under the auspices of some college. The lecturer was always a man recognized as an authority on his subject. And in his lecture he did his utmost to impart real information to his audience. But subtly injected into these lectures, which were otherwise of much educational value, were observations on economics which were given such a twist that those listening felt the corporation in question had been much maligned, and that when the matters affecting it were made a political issue, they should use their influence to favor this benign and unselfish syndicate.
There is no question here as to the right of a corporation to hire a lecturer to inform people of its virtues. The inversion consisted of hiding behind recognized colleges to give the impression that those of unbiased authority were of the opinion that the corporation was wholly benign; hiding the fact that the lecturer was actually being paid for creating this impression, and in presenting half truths thus cunningly concealed amid a large amount of information of real value.
If we drop back to the commencement of the Christian era we see this principle of inversion vigorously at work then.
There can be no question but that in all ages it has been quite common to abuse the sex functions. Sex often has led to bestiality, to gross passions, and to extremes of selfishness and grossness. Also, material possessions, from the most ancient times, have caused many people to be dishonest, to become selfish and cruel, and to develop unspiritual qualities. Such facts are so obvious and so well recognized that no one requires them to be proved.
And because of the popular acceptance of them as facts, it became easy to use them for inversive purposes; for the more widespread a belief the easier it becomes to use it as a trap to snare the unwary.
It was therefore argued by church zealots that if sex and money were the source of most of the evil in the world that the spiritual man should renounce both completely. The other half of this truth was completely ignored; that sex and money are also the sources of most of the good in the world. The fact that only by means of material possessions are we able to alleviate the suffering caused by the poverty of others, providing for them medical care, shelter and food, and that only through wealth—the product of labor—can we sustain ourselves and develop the resources of the earth so that people may have more comfort, education and more happiness; this was entirely overlooked.
It was also ignored that family life is the most potent source of unselfish emotions in the world. If spirituality is based upon unselfishness and love, family life is the most effective training school of spirituality at hand. Man and wife frequently are unselfish in their relations with each other; and parental love is commonly unselfish.
Therefore, the inversive doctrine that it is spiritual to renounce sex and wealth was disseminated; resulting in a period during which monastic life flourished. And the inmates of these holy institutions were so self centered in their determination to attain salvation for themselves that little of real spirituality could penetrate to them. They shifted the responsibility of the world from their own selfish shoulders to the backs of others; themselves seeking spiritual safety while materially provided for by the institution they had joined. And having renounced love, except a vague and abstract affection for all mankind, it is not surprising that the histories of these monasteries are a record of epidemics of hallucination and outbreaks of mental aberration.
Following down the centuries to the settling of America, we find the Pilgrim Fathers believing in a not unrelated inversion.
It has been noted throughout man’s development that he often spends time that should be devoted to work in play, that he frequently dissipates wealth that should be used in sustenance in securing enjoyment, and that in the quest of pleasure he often disregards the rights of others and becomes gross and brutal. Hence, by the inversive method, it was easy to get a following for the doctrine that all pleasure is wicked.
And as I have pointed out elsewhere, so-called “American nerves,” are probably largely the result of the doctrine of suppression that has been handed down from the early settlers of our country. Their religion cultivated a rigid austerity, the restraint of every emotion, and looked with horror upon fun of any kind. The partial truth which gave rise to this doctrine failed to recognize that pain is contractive and pleasure is expansive, that pleasure is constructive and only its excessive and perverted use is destructive, and that happiness is an aid both to constructive work and to spirituality. That happiness or pleasure is a sin, according to the findings of psychology, and according even to facts understood for centuries, is an inversion.
As an illustration of the complexity of alternate factors, which is a favorite method of escaping detection when an inversion is given propaganda, I can find no better illustration than the doctrine of repeated reincarnation.
I am well aware that many who read these lines will not agree with me in this. I am not questioning their right to believe in repeated human reincarnation if they desire to do so. Nor am I making any accusations against them because they thus believe; or against those who now teach it; for I am sure they are sincere, and they have as much right to their opinion as I have to mine. Yet, as a free soul, I maintain I have the right both to have and to express my own ideas on this or any other subject.
The truth, as I see it, is that the soul does incarnate successively through various lower forms of life in its evolution. It passes through various forms in mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, but never reincarnates in the same species twice. But when it has undergone experience once in the human species, this being the climax of physical evolution, its progress from that point on is in worlds above the physical. It no longer returns to the physical earth, because it has lessons to learn and work to do in realms that offer it advantages that cannot be had on earth.
To me—and this is the Hermetic view—the truth that the soul reincarnates in many forms of life has been used to cloak an insidious doctrine of materialism which implies that nowhere can experience worthwhile be had except on the physical plane. This materialistic doctrine demands that the soul keep coming back to earth to gain experience and to pay debts; entirely overlooking the fact that when self consciousness is once attained through even a brief human incarnation, that any further necessary experience—even the paying of debts—can be had in the next world.
Human reincarnation ignores that education, evolution, and constructive effort are continued in other regions that are even more real than the earth. It loses sight of the fact that as each soul is being prepared for a special mission in the cosmic scheme that the experience, or education, of no two souls is the same. But these things I have set forth in Chapters 7 and 8 (Serial Lessons 20 and 21), Course II, Astrological Signatures, and in Course XIX, Organic Alchemy.
But any specific doctrine in connection with remembered past lives, the period between rebirths, or how many times such rebirths can occur, as soon as it is attacked in one quarter, is shifted in another quarter to an entirely different doctrine. It now appears, from a lecture by an international authority on the subject given in Los Angeles a few months ago, that human reincarnation is entirely optional. If one wants to return to the earth to reincarnate he is privileged to do so, and if he does not wish this additional experience on earth, he need not return.
In times past repeated births of a single soul have been traced back many, many thousands of years. But when such a remembered series is shown, upon indisputable historical evidence, to have been impossible, it is relinquished and someone comes forth with the idea that, after all, incarnations take place quickly and are few in number. If it can be shown, upon archaeological evidence, that no such dwellings existed in a region at the time when a remembered life took place, this is also relinquished and something else is quickly substituted.
But I think I have said enough to illustrate my point; for I have no desire to offend anyone who holds to any belief. But whether it be in politics, in religion, or in business, whenever the factors representing evidence can be shifted first to mean one thing, then to mean another, and finally relinquished in favor of still other substitutes, it is the part of wisdom not to accept them without the most careful research and thought.
Additional Technique of Inversion
Since the foregoing was written that master of inversive methods, Adolph Hitler, rose to power and plunged mankind into World War II. Also, in these United States certain unscrupulous academic scientists have endeavored to get laws passed prohibiting both the teaching and the practice of astrology.
While enslaving the people of Germany, Hitler orated constantly on the great benefits they would derive from the Socialistic State which he was championing. In his book outlining his program, he set forth a method which later he successfully used. And others, witnessing this success, have employed the same tactics. He said that if one told a big enough lie people would believe it, because they were themselves accustomed to telling small lies, but they would not believe anyone audacious enough to tell a gigantic untruth.
In political campaigns in the U. S., we now find that an unscrupulous opposition at times spreads a barrage of unreasonable lies about a certain candidate believing, quite correctly, that in spite of the refutation of these lies by the candidate, these “smears” will stick in the mind of the public and, due to personal bias, will influence a certain number. It is recognized that some people, to raise their own opinion of themselves relatively, are all too willing to believe any evil they hear or read about another.
One of the inversive methods employed by Hitler was to accuse those he wished to destroy with the crime he was committing or contemplated. If he contemplated appropriating the property and wealth of a certain minority group he first spread the propaganda that this minority group had unfairly gained property and wealth from others. When he desired to attack some other nation, he spread the propaganda that this nation was arming to help in an invasion of Germany. He made accusation after accusation so plausible that, to their ruin, the people of Germany believed him.
The inversive propaganda of certain academic science groups—which, to maintain their prestige as the final authority on all information relative to natural law, are determined to recognize no energies other than the physical, and no possibility of life beyond the tomb—takes two chief forms. Straw men are set up and knocked down as fake tests are made and given wide publicity through the press.
Astrology, as are other sciences, is progressive. In books of thirty years ago on almost any material science one can find statements which since have been proved erroneous and are no longer held by scientists. This is equally true of the science of astrology. Thus it is possible for the foes of astrology to unearth such statements and prove them false.
For many years competent astrologers have recognized, for instance, that sun sign alone is not a reliable guide to the vocation followed by an individual. Yet it is possible to find astrological textbooks that state the sign Libra inclines to music. And, other things being equal, it does give a love of music, although not necessarily causing the individual to follow music as a profession.
But some years ago a professor at the University of California collected the birth date of over 1,000 musicians. He found more born under the sun sign Scorpio than under any other sun sign. And this finding was given wide and repeated press publicity as completely disproving astrology.
The latest such straw man set up and knocked down to disprove astrology appears in TIME magazine, issue of September 24, 1945, page 52. Academic psychologist Mrs. Lee R. Steiner went to an outstanding New York astrologer and got a reading for her husband, and denounced the science of astrology because the astrologer did not tell her her husband was dead.
Yet progressed aspects do not indicate inevitable events, merely probabilities. And it is never wise to predict death, as due to precautionary actions or mental treatments or other factors, the individual may slip by death’s door. If Mrs. Steiner had asked the astrologer what happened to her husband during a given year—instead of deliberately misleading the astrologer—she would have been told he had experienced a most serious illness.
Where extrasensory perception and psychic phenomena are concerned, the foes of the belief in any other realm than the physical commonly employ a professional skilled in legerdemain, who offers to reproduce the ESP test or phenomena. But when he attempts to do so he employs his own paraphernalia and selects his own conditions. Yet the wide publicity given such exhibitions convince many people that all psychic phenomena is legerdemain.
There are words which have come to mean those things which are highly desirable to society and which, because of the desirability of those things thus generalized, come to possess strong emotional power. The unconscious minds of people are so accustomed to responding either favorably or unfavorably to the things designated by these words, that the words themselves have come to be symbols that arouse a special type of emotion, regardless of their association at the particular time.
Good, true, honest, unselfish, patriotic, benign, high minded, noble, divine, and charming are a few of such words as are responded to in a favorable manner. Murder, avariciousness, selfish, coward, yellow, tyrant, grafter, seditious, crafty, cruel, and bully are a few that thus incite instant antagonism.
Now, as has been learned by those who exploit the weaknesses of the public, if some person, some cause, or some object can adroitly be coupled with one of these words, due to the habit of emotionally associating only things of a definite kind with the words, the unconscious reaction to the person, cause or object thus associated is that habitually aroused by the word. The emotional reaction, because of the power of habit, is so spontaneous as to lull reason. Before the critical faculties have time to question whether the association between the person, cause or object and the word is warranted, the habitual emotion aroused by the word has taken charge and embraced the whole phrase or sentence in its customary pleasant or unpleasant feeling.
For instance, not long ago the subject of “birth control” came up in the city of Syracuse, N. Y. In this country we are supposed to have free speech. Nor did those who wished to stifle even a discussion of “birth control” commit the error of bringing up the question of free speech. Yet they were convinced “birth control” is a terrible thing, and that the surest way to prevent any change in the New York statute in regard to it was to prevent the facts about it from being presented. How, in the face of the constitutional guarantee of free speech, were they able to do this?
Well, it is commonly accepted by the public that murder is about the worst of crimes. So they coupled the word murder with “birth control.” They gave wide voice to the opinion that “birth control” is murder. Those thus appealed to responded spontaneously to the emotion aroused by the word murder, and dominated by this emotion failed to question the appropriateness of the association.
It seems never to have occurred to them, amid their repugnance at the thought of murder, to inquire if it were possible to murder a child before it is even conceived. And the emotional element so dominated the aldermen that they not only failed to consider whether the present laws on the subject are just or not, but they stifled our boasted free speech to the extent that they passed an ordinance, on the ground of indecency, prohibiting all discussion of the subject, even any discussion of whether the present laws on the subject are good and just.
As this is being written there are some 8,000,000 people seeking, but unable to get employment in this country. Under such conditions it is bound to follow that there is considerable hunger and privation. And at times there are parades of protest or gatherings of people who are hungry and who wish food or employment by which they can secure food. The word “Red,” because of the Russian revolution, has become a word arousing terror in the hearts of those who have property. Therefore, every parade no matter how just or how far removed from thought of revolutionary activities, is reported by those who suppress it as a demonstration of the “Reds.” Several such hunger paraders were shot down at Dearborn, Mich., a few days ago; and the newspaper headlines screamed with the news of a “Red Outbreak.” The word “Red” was used to justify the killing.
On the other hand, we have the words “Capitalistic Exploiter of the Masses,” and “Capitalistic Grafter,” used by those who wish to disparage the usefulness of any individual who is not utterly poverty stricken. No matter how much a man may have added to the wealth of society, if he possesses, or even controls, some wealth, his enemies can cause him to be hated by a large part of the populace. They keep calling him a “Capitalistic Exploiter”; and those who hear and see this term used in association with him are moved to hate, because it is their habitual reaction to the words. The habit is so strong that it suppresses any desire they might have to make a detailed inquiry whether or not, in his case, the term is appropriate.
And a man in the employ of the State is just as readily and unwarrantedly attacked by repeatedly attaching to his name the words “Grafter” and “Tool of Big Business.” The fact that those in public life have frequently been grafters, and tools of big money, has developed an habitual emotional aversion to those words, and it comes to the surface so quickly that it commonly suppresses reason. For reason would make diligent inquiry to discover if the man so designated really does belong to the group designated by the words.
There is another type of influence that is very prevalent. It is really an inversion, but is less cunningly concealed than the more elaborate inversions, and relies almost wholly on suggestion to do its inversive work. To distinguish it from the more complex inversions, it may be termed an insinuation. Some proposition is stated in such a way that the public is led to believe that things are dependent upon each other that in reality have little or no relation.
During the war it was recognized that people were desirous of helping win it. Streetcar placards and bill posters appeared, therefore, advising the public to “Buy Mr. Skokum’s Pills and Help Win the War”; “Patronize Your Corner Grocer and Do Your Bit”; “Eat Sanded Wheat Husks and Help the Boys Over There”; “Mail Your Son or Sweetheart Over There a Package of Cow Tobacco to Give Him Fighting Strength.” I have not, of course, quoted the names of the firms exactly, but all will be familiar with the type of advertising that was used.
As a matter of fact, there was no real help toward winning the war in any one of these items; but the advertisement gave the suggestion strongly that doing the thing suggested would help the cause which was so close to people’s hearts. And because of the power of suggestion, when repeated over and over, many people, no doubt, made such purchases with the feeling that they were doing something patriotic, when in reality they were merely doing what the advertiser wished them to do for his own selfish advantage.
And as this is being written I find some radio announcers, and many billboards and newspaper advertisements, thus capitalizing the present period of unemployment and money shortage.
We are told to go to a certain finance corporation and borrow money on our car, “To Help End the Depression.” We are informed that we should buy certain nationally advertised products, “To Provide Work for the Unemployed.” We are admonished to buy our merchandise at a certain department store, “To Discourage Hoarding.”
In some of the advertising of this nature there may be a little truth, but most of it merely makes use of the public desire to help restore prosperity to insinuate that this need may be accomplished by borrowing, buying, or selling, to a certain firm, when in truth the transaction urged has little or no bearing upon the restoration of normalcy.
Now we come to a factor that is unusually potent in getting an inversion, a platitude, or an insinuation accepted and acted upon. It is the power of suggestion gained through repetition. This power is baldly stated by politicians thus: “In order to get people to believe a lie it is only necessary to go on repeating it.”
Coué’, in his famous formula, “Every Day in Every Way, I Am Getting Better and Better,” gave a worldwide demonstration of this power in its constructive aspect. But constant repetition is quite as potent to hammer a lie into the unconscious mind and get that lie acted upon as it is to heal the individual of his ills when constructively applied.
If you see on the printed page and on billboards, twenty times a day for twenty-five days a month, the words, “Smoke Hemp Rope and Get Kissable,” unless your critical faculties are unusually awake you will unconsciously accept the idea that smoking hemp rope actually adds to your attractiveness, and that others will have far less desire to kiss you if you do not smoke anything.
Or if you have it dinned into your consciousness by the radio announcer that a certain merchant sells for less, you will probably not stop to reason that where he is located rents are higher, that his displays are costly, that his whole overhead is such as to make it unlikely he can sell goods at as reasonable a figure as certain other merchants you know. Because you hear his name so often, and the assertion that he sells cheaply, when you desire merchandise you forget about the other tradesmen and go directly to his place.
In addition to the objective influence of inversion, platitude association, insinuation, repetition and suggestion, when there is an enthusiastic body of thinkers who desire to put over some program, or who desire that some idea shall be accepted, there is also to be considered the very potent invisible influence exerted by their thought forms. These thought forms once given sufficient impetus, and irrespective of truth or reason, may gather as they move, like a snowball rolling down hill, until they have sufficient power to sweep a whole nation into a war hysteria, into a stock-gambling mania, into a land-boom craze, or into a panic of depression. In this country we have had all of these within less than a score of years.
Religious, political, occult, and other organizations which have some definite idea to sell sometimes are able to enlist individuals who have oratorical and literary ability to sway the public. In this enthusiasm for the “cause,” these protagonists send out, perhaps quite unwittingly, powerful thought forms impregnated with the mission to make converts. These thought forms, throughout the duration of their existence, work unremittingly to convince people, through impression, or in extreme instances even through obsession, to adopt the standard of the particular cause. And those who become thus enlisted in the same effort, and zealous in its mission, unwittingly add the strength of their thoughts to the thought-form creation already working out its mission.
The unconscious response of people to such energetic thought forms, when they once gain headway, is illustrated by the well-recognized irresponsibility of a mob. Incited by the words of a few leaders, who may be extremists and quite unbalanced, otherwise well-poised people, when part of a mob, often abandon reason entirely and help commit murder, arson and other crimes that undominated by such group thought-form influence they would never dream it possible for them to countenance, and for which, after reflection, they arc heartily remorseful.
Such thought—dissemination—or collection of smaller thoughts about a more powerful nucleus for the accomplishment of a given work is usually, but not always, a process unrecognized by those responsible for it. And used thus unconsciously, as in the case of the religious evangelist to sweep a whole town into the fold at a revival meeting, it may result in no great damage, or may, when public sentiment is aroused thus in favor of some good cause, even help to bring about conditions more favorable to society.
But used by crooked politicians, by those who make propaganda for selfish advantage, and as encouraged by crooks and gangsters, it results in tremendous damage. Where the underworld is concerned they, of course, are interested only in promoting those conditions which assist them to prey upon more honest and spiritual men. And while they may support many things that aid them in this, one thing in particular that they sponsor, because it leads to disorganization of society and thus weakens it and permits them to have their will, is confusion. Confusion of any sort enables them to gain their selfish and unfair ends without discovery and punishment.
Nor are all those who use this thought-dissemination method—collecting the less potent thoughts of those they have persuaded to sympathize with their movement into a huge and powerful thought form as snow is gathered into a ball as it rolls along—of the physical plane. Racketeers, gangsters, and leaders in iniquity on the astral plane find such thought-dissemination a potent means of getting the things done on earth that they desire. They must, of course, make contact with some negative individual whom they can influence to send out such thoughts and to promote the ideas they have formulated. Anything that leads to confusion they hold to be to their advantage, because a confused mind is one easily influenced by another through suggestion.
Philippe Petain Chart
April 24, 1856, 10:30 p m. 2E30. 50N15
Data from Mr. Scott’s War Commentary
1914, Brigadier General French army at war: Man opposition Venus r.
1916, in charge of operations in front of Verdun: Venus conjunction Saturn r.
1917, General in Chief: Sun sextile Sun r and Pluto r.
1918, Grand Cross Legion of Honour: Mercury conjunction Venus p.
1934, Secretary of War of France: Sun square Mars p.
1939, France at war with Germany: Mercury square Mars r.
1940, after France surrendered to Germany was made Prime Minister: Sun conjunction Venus p, Mercury conjunction Saturn p.
1945, August, convicted of intelligence with the enemy and sentenced to death, sentence commuted to life imprisonment: M. C. (honor) opposition Saturn p.
Pierre Laval Chart
June 28, 1883, 10:00 a.m. LMT. 3E. 45N45.
Data from Mr. Scott’s War Commentary.
1914, Socialist Deputy for Seine (France): Sun conjunction Mercury p.
1925, Minister of Public Works: Venus sextile Saturn r
1926, Minister of Justice: Jupiter sextile Uranus p, sextile; Mars r.
1930, Minister of Labor: Sun square Mars r, semisextile Jupiter p.
1931, Prime Minister: Venus sextile Venus r.
1934, Minister of Colonies: Venus sextile Mercury r.
1935, Prime Minister: Sun sextile Mars p.
1940, Deputy Prime Minister, when France surrendered he collaborated with Nazis: Sun square Pluto r, Mercury conjunction Uranus p.
1945, Oct. 15, executed for intelligence with enemy: Neptune conjunction Mars r, Asc. sesquisquare Mercury r, Venus sesquisquare Moon r and semisquare Mercury r.